Equipment maintenance is oneof the essential elements of a good quality management system. Proper maintenance of the analyser in thelaboratory is necessary to ensure accurate, reliable, and timely testing ofbiological specimens. Daily analyser maintenance involves a series ofinspections and the replenishment of solutions. Its benefits include:• helps to maintain a highlevel of laboratory performance; • reduces variation in testresults, and improves the biomedical scientist’s confidence in the accuracy oftesting results; • lowers repair costs, asfewer repairs will be needed for a well-maintained instrument; • lengthens instrument life;• reduces interruption ofservices due to breakdowns and failures. Failing to maintain ananalyser can lead to errors which can cause a delay in result turnaround time.
For example improper maintenance or lack of maintenance of the Cobas 8000analyser could lead to build up of debris eg sodium salts; near the reagentprobes which can contaminate a sample during its analysis thus affecting thepatient results. Instrument calibration isone of the primary processes used to maintain instrument accuracy. Calibrationis the process of configuring an instrument to provide a result for a samplewithin an acceptable range. Eliminating or minimizing factors that causeinaccurate measurements is a fundamental aspect of instrumentation design.
Although the exactprocedure may vary from product to product, the calibration process generallyinvolves using the instrument to test samples of one or more known valuescalled “calibrators.” The results are used to establish a relationship betweenthe measurement technique used by the instrument and the known values. Theinstrument can then provide more accurate results when samples of unknownvalues are tested in the normal usage of the product.